Baseball! My 48 Year-Old Son’s Amazing Memories From When He Was 8!

My son Perry just sent me an e-mail which I must post:

Gideon Gartner on Baseball“Just wanted to point out that this past weekend was the 40th anniversary of the first “real” baseball game you ever took me to, on June 5, 1970.  It was in the original Yankee Stadium against the White Sox, and I’m pretty sure it was knuckleballer Wilbur Wood pitching for the Sox.

I had only recently become a rabid fan of the Yankees and their young centerfielder, Bobby Murcer.  Murcer had just turned 24 and was in his second full season, his first in center field.

It was a night game, and the glamor and grandeur of the old Stadium with its Roman Colosseum walls and classic rooftop frieze, the brilliant lights, the impossibly green grass, and the huge expanse of the field (463 feet to left center!  Monuments in the outfield!) were overwhelming to an eight-year-old.

The Yankees won 10-1, Murcer hit two home runs and a double, and my fandom of both was cemented for all time.  Murcer’s second homer was a towering drive and one of my vivid memories is of you leaping to your feet and shouting, “woo woo woo woo” in a high falsetto voice as the ball arced toward the rightfield seats.  Even then I wondered if you were truly that excited or if you were at least partly indulging for my sake…

At the time I thought Murcer’s double was actually a triple.  I remember him approaching second base at a full sprint, and when the throw from the outfield got away, Murcer leapt over the 2nd baseman’s glove and kept running at top speed into 3rd. (More “woo woo woo” from Dad.)  I can still see his leap over the bag at 2nd, his legs spinning in the air like a pair of bicycle wheels or a Bugs Bunny cartoon…

That was only the first of many unforgettable trips we took to the Stadium.  Later this summer will be the 40th anniversary of our first twi-night doubleheader (August 28, 1970)…

Are you around for chess tonight?”


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